Strong shooting by Kellen Dunham helped Butler overcome significant foul trouble and close out a tough win against Princeton.
Butler starting five- Barlow/Dunham/Marshall/Woods/Fromm
|Offensive Rebound %
Nursing a two-point lead against a Princeton team that could catch fire at any time, Butler needed a fast start to the second half. Two minutes later, Kellen Dunham's three-point play capped off a 9-0 run which gave the Bulldogs a cushion they would not relinquish.
Dunham, a sweet shooting sophomore from Pendleton, IN, led all scorers with a career-high 26 points as Butler eked out a 70-67 victory. Butler needed all of Dunham's baskets down the stretch as the Bulldog offense ground to a halt in the final minutes and Princeton's Denton Koon almost single-handedly brought the Tigers back.
Butler successfully kept the visitors from getting their three-point shooters hot. Though Princeton shot 40 percent from beyond the arc, the Tigers attempted 11 fewer three-pointers than against Florida A&M. Princeton did take advantage of tight officiating by getting to the free throw line 37 times. Plagued with foul trouble from the start of the game, Butler finished with four players recording four or more fouls.
Dunham added six rebounds to his stat sheet and shot 4-of-8 from long range. In addition to getting shots to fall after a cold opener against Lamar, Dunham added eight points from the free throw line. Showing that versatility in scoring early in the season has to encourage coach Brandon Miller. Dunham should be able to contribute as a top scorer even against better defensive teams.
Point guard Alex Barlow contributed four points and five assists. He had two assists and four personal fouls. Barlow will need to adjust over the course of the season to tightly-called games. If he struggles to provide shutdown defensive play without fouling, he'll see some of the younger guards cut into his playing time.
Kameron Woods recorded a double-double, 11 points and 10 rebounds. The junior forward created some second chances in the paint and had the best game of the Butler frontcourt. Erik Fromm scored 10 before fouling out. He stepped out to take four three-pointers, but didn't provide much help on the glass. As a team, Butler was outrebounded 33-30 by Princeton.
Elijah Brown provided a spark off the bench with 13 points. Both Brown and Devontae Morgan recorded four fouls in reserve.
Overall, Butler was outshot and outrebounded by a tall and talented Princeton team which could make some noises in the Ivy League. Despite giving away a number of free chances with fouls by almost every player on the roster, Butler survived at home and looks forward to another challenging non-conference matchup Tuesday against Vanderbilt.